Life on Colorado Railroads:
The American Passenger Car Era, 1930 to 1970
Life on Colorado Rails 1930 to 1970 is the second of three exhibits celebrating the work and lives of railroadmen and women in Colorado. From sleeping car porters to carmen; courier nurses to conductors; engineers to yard officers, this exhibit highlights the modernization and glamour of Colorado railroads from 1930 to 1970.
The modern American Passenger Car Era began in the 1930s when railroad companies transitioned from steam to diesel locomotives, and changed to look of their trains in an effort to attract more passengers. Inspired by the Art Deco movement, railroads applied clean, unbroken lines, rounded corners, and gleaming metal bodies to trains and locomotives. Projecting an image of speed and power, the new trains symbolized the modernization of America.
The Passenger Car Era marked the zenith of American railroading not just because the rolling stock was modern and luxurious, but because many railroad employees enjoyed their working experience. Strong wages, standardized working hours, health insurance, pensions, and respect from surrounding community members created desirable and satisfying jobs. It was not uncommon for employees to work thirty, forty, or even fifty years for the same railroad company.
Join us as we celebrate the men and women who kept the railroads running during the American Passenger Car Era! View photographs of porters, cooks, stewards, courier nurses, engineers and more. Explore a three-quarter sized Navajo round-end observation car complete with a sleeping berth and check out new Museum objects on display. We hope to see you there!